© 2012 expatmonkey. All rights reserved.

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Clare’s Frustration at Losing to Me in Cards

Well, losing 1/3 of the games to me anyway.

Two days on the mountain, one night in a tent, a steady rhythm of riddles, several sordid games of Rummy 500, catcalling gophers, a kind young Tajik guide, some rain, and cold cold river water up in Tajikistan’s Rasht Valley.

We probably didn’t really need a guide as it turned out to only be an hour or two’s hike up into the valley, but he was a sweet young man with provocative fire-starting skills and a “solid kettle.”

Before we went aimlessly hiking up the valley we were warned repeatedly not to touch the innocuous-looking plant with pretty yellow flowers because it will make you itch. But it’s everywhere. And I managed to get it on my hand, which now looks like Tyler Durden poured lye on it to bring me one step closer to god.

Clare somehow managed to get it on her forehead. I think she may have been grazing (Lord knows I was). Possibly because she didn’t like my meal of chunky spaghetti sauce and rice (we were forced to improvise that night in the tent due to rain).

Yesterday we came back down the hill,  waking up this morning once again in Mirzashoh’s cozy hideaway, on the anniversary of my being birthed. I can’t think of a better way to begin this year.

Except maybe with a back massage and breakfast in bed from a squad of muscular but tender chimpanzees.

(Also see Sleeping Under Skins in the Rasht Valley.)

(L) Glacial meltwater + 2 arbitrarily competitive people = very cold feet. (R) We can’t even fake being serious it would seem.

Our guide’s tent didn’t hold up as well as ours to the wind & rain (he’s that lump on the left). Possibly because I stole his tentpoles to beat his horse mercilessly for insolence.

Tajik sheepdogs are delightfully sweeter than every other rabid sonofabitch mutt in the former Soviet world.

Hiking over the riverbed after a day of wood gathering and gopher shooting. Just like bullseyeing womp rats in my T-16 back home.

They saw each other and just knew. They just knew.

“And the bear says, ‘You’re not coming for the huntin’, are ya, mate!'”

(L) A moment later this man was shot by a deer and then stuffed & mounted in a ferocious attack pose. (R) I don’t trust her either.

She makes it look so easy. My camera angle makes it look so difficult.

Where it all began. Where it all will end.

One Comment

  1. Photos are top drawer, So much so that we borrowed them for an article, “WHO WILL BE THE NEXT KHAN. OUT OF RESPECT for your skill we ask belatedly if it is OK and mention that your framing adds civility to a site that often features the more extreme view of this part of the world, and we will remove if you object to their use and will publish if you would like to add to our discussion. Real People are so often missing from stories involving 3rd party intruders into their world.

One Trackback

  1. By Sleeping Under Skins in the Rasht Valley | Expat Monkey 26 Jun ’12 at 2:05 am

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